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Self-Service Security for Customers Who Must Scale

29 Sep 2015 by Howard M Cohen

Have you ever noticed that whenever you say “security,” your customers hear “expensive”?

They’re not only thinking about the capital investment in new firewalls or other equipment. They’re also thinking about the operating overhead — the cost in time spent updating, upgrading, monitoring and managing more security infrastructure in their networks. Many companies aren’t sure how to hire the right people to do all this, and security experts are highly trained and expensive to employ.

The challenge of scaling security

Companies that are particularly beleaguered by the management of security provisions include those whose personnel ranks grow and shrink periodically. This may be due to seasonality, such as tax accounting firms that staff up for the season preceding April 15, or research and promotional agencies that hire for specific projects and then release everyone upon completion of the tasks.

Whatever the reason, investing to accommodate a suddenly large user community starts to hurt when the company shrinks back to “normal” and all that additional investment sits idle.

Self-service security

With so much of what we’re selling coming from “the cloud,” there’s a cloud security option.

Manufacturers like Cisco are now offering equipment that is designed to enable large carriers to deliver security services to their customers along with bandwidth and internet access. Each of these services features a self-service portal that the end customers use to request the services they need when they need them, and they only pay for what they consume.

Location roll-out

Let’s say your customer is a bank with many branch locations. Then they acquire another banking chain and have to convert all of the acquired company’s branches to their systems.  In the traditional world, that would be a major project requiring them to send people to each of the branches to install and configure routers, switches, servers and so on.

With “virtual security” services, the customer goes to their online self-service portal and enters all the new branch locations. Once the service confirms the request, the carrier simply ships a pre-configured appliance to each branch location with instructions for plugging it into the network and powering it up. When they turn the appliance on, it “calls home” to the carrier and configures and provisions itself, ready to work automatically.

You can partner with carriers to sell these services. Otherwise, you can provision the infrastructure yourself and become your customer’s network point of contact. It depends on the infrastructure you already have in place to support it.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) go virtual

Your customers don’t need to add locations to take advantage of virtual security services. 

They may want to add application firewalls, taking advantage of powerful “intrusion protection” that helps keep hackers out and their valuable data assets in. Their self-service portal also gives them information, guidance and immediate “click-a-button” access to VPN services like Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization, application control, content filtering and more.

Virtual managed security services include nonstop, real-time monitoring to prevent attacks, malware, worms and Internet-based attacks targeting critical business assets. They also support consistent, effective event management with advanced monitoring, identification, alerts and issue mitigation, accessing and applying the latest security information, knowledge and expertise for business customers.

Most important to note is that these services are immediately available and in the price range of business customers of any size.

Talk to your IT service provider support team at Insight to learn how quickly and easily you can provide virtual managed security services to your customers, creating customer value and new revenue streams. Reach out at 1.800.INSIGHT. Visit online to learn about emerging technologies and how they can impact your business